Topic: Mono Black Devotion FNM Deck

Hey Guys,
So i'm trying to make a mono black deck ( for Friday night magic standard events. However the deck I made play tests very slow it doesn't start rolling until turn 5 ish and I need some help speeding it up. Basically the idea is gain life and do damage based on my life gain, so I never actually have to hit the guy with creatures.

Using Sanguine Bond and Whip of Erebos allows me to do that perfectly since all my creatures have lifelink and if they are blocked it will still deal damage and if they are unblocked it will be double damage. I then added Strionic Resonator so I can double Sanguine Bond's ability. I then added Gray Merchant of Asphodel which also is a triggered ability so it can be doubled as well with the Strionic Resonator I tossed in Rescue from the Underworld so I can get the Gray Merchant of Asphodel back into play once they died.

As far as devotion boosting cards I threw in Nightveil Specter, Desecration Demon, and Necropolis Regent all of which their triggered abilities can be copied with Strionic Resonator

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Re: Mono Black Devotion FNM Deck

What about Crypt Incursion I would take out 2 Rescue from the Underworld and put 2 of those in.
I just think a lot of your stuff cost a lot of mana and might be a little slow against a red/white deck or something along those lines. Plus if you need to you can use Crypt Incursion on yourself if need be.

Last edited by 1777821376 (2013-11-03 19:58:23)

Re: Mono Black Devotion FNM Deck

Alright, so from what I can see, your curve is the reason that you dont get rolling until turn 5. you have way too many cards that are at or above 4 cmc. I think that lowering your curve will allow you to see more success and have a better early game. You can do this by taking out unnecessary cards and replacing them with spot removal such as doom blade, ultimate price, and devour flesh. Some unnecessary cards that you can take out are Rescue from the Underworld (You have the whip of erebos to have the same function), and a couple of copies of sanguine bond (You really only need 1 on the field, if any). As cute as Stionic resonator is, it really isn't going to be as beneficial as you are hoping, because it will essentially add 2 cmc to any card that you're casting, pushing your effectiveness in the game back two turns minimum. If you really must have it, keep a copy, but I think having two is a bit too much. I do like necropolis regent, she gives awesome devotion and provides a good body, but I feel the effect is a bit lack luster in a deck with as few creatures in it as this one. Cutting down on these as well could prove beneficial. Im not sure if you have one or not, I didnt see one, but you could also use an effective draw engine like underworld connections or dark prophecy because you'll be going through cards quickly.

Anyway, by adding in spot removal for these big bulky cards, you should see more effectiveness early game, and find that your deck works better together. Hope you find good luck with any changes that you make.

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Re: Mono Black Devotion FNM Deck

For lack of a better way to explain it, you appear to be running a less optimal version of the mono-black devotion builds that have been doing quite well since PT Theros.  One obvious option would be to look up the decklists on and just mirror those, or you can tinker with it and, I think, come up with a slightly different twist on the deck that will be even stronger.

So some specific card choices you've made that I would change:

Lifebane Zombie - He runs MB in the monoblack versions that are seeing play, but to be honest, I would have him in the SB.  The deck isn't designed to win via early aggression by any means so the 3 power, intimidate is actually not as relevant as you would think.  The ETB ability has some promise, but at the end of the day, they only affect 2 of the colors and it's not a guaran[mtg][/mtg]tee it manages to hit anything (you'll actually whiff quite a bit these days).

Necropolis Regent - This choice seems amusing enough as you could, in theory cheat it in via Whip of Erebos but unless the rest of your stuff is connecting, it's no big deal.  It also doesn't leave any residual impact unless everything else hits.  I personally ran 2x Abhorrent Overlord as my big bomb creature as you could either hard cast it with Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx and get a ton of tokens OR cheat it with Whip, get a 6/6 flying lifelink AND at least four harpy tokens that will stick around after he's gone.  Play him with a few other things in play and you will literally flood the skies with tokens, negating opposing Desecration Demons while giving yourself an army of flying lifelinkers.

Hero's Downfall - This is the bread and butter spell but I like running with 2x unless you're going against a bunch of PWs, at which point you would want 2x more in the SB.  But you need to fill out the deck with a LOT more removal - Doom Blade, Ultimate Price, Devour Flesh, and Pharika's Cure are definite MUSTS in some combination across the mainboard and sideboard.  Personally, I recommend 4x Devour Flesh in the mainboard as they give you the most options - you can actually target yourself, sack your Gray Merchant of Asphodel, gain four, and then reanimate him for another hit with the Whip - in addition to dealing with threats with hexproof or pro-black (Blood Baron of Vizkopa is a thing I hear).  Pharika's Cure helps against aggro and mono-blue, Doom Blade is just a nice tool against any non-black, and Ultimate Price does a good job in the mirror or against another devotion deck.

Rescue from the Underworld - I could see running 2x of this and using a Gray Merchant to go get another Gray Merchant could be fun, but in reality, I wouldn't run any of them in place of running at least 3x Whip of Erebos as it can reanimate multiple targets AND gives lifelink to the whole team.

Corrupt - I get the idea here, but it's really just too slow to rely on as a means of solid removal.  Again, maybe 2x could work, but that's probably all.

Strionic Resonator - I don't really see where this is going to do that much for you and a lot of the time could end up as a dead card.  I'd drop them as the mechanics at work are solid enough as it is.

Sanguine Bond - I had the same thought when I brewed my version, but at five you really want to be casting Gray Merchant, not an enchantment that won't do much for a while... I see how 4x can easily make a single Gray Merchant a lot bigger, so maybe 2x could work, but it'll probably not make as large of an impact as you might think.

You're spot on with the land, but I had 3x Nykthos, which I felt was enough to ensure you could do some ramping rather consistently, but don't end up with a ton of colorless mana or have trouble hitting your drops.

Cards you're missing:

Underworld Connections - Simply put, one of the biggest weapons mono-black has comes from the sheer card advantage you can generate both with Erebos and Underworld Connections.  Sure, it costs you a life to draw a card, but if you draw a Gray Merchant when you didn't have one, well, now you're draining for four and can draw another three cards before you would be back where you started.  This lets you rip through the deck at double the normal speed (or faster), ensuring consistency in your land drops and everything else.

Pack Rat - I liked this little fella for a few reasons.  Most people just like it for the potential to take over the game with the rats (definitely a real possibility), but I liked the ability to turn dead draws into meaningful plays.  Draw a 7th land, just dump it and make a rat token (which has a CMC of 2, including adding one to devotion no less).  Have Abhorrent Overlord in hand and a Whip in play?  Drop the Overlord during their end phase, enjoy the added rat token, then whip the Overlord, swing with a 6/6 flying, lifelink, haste, gain 6, it exiles at the end of turn, and oh yeah, enjoy those 6 harpy tokens you just created - all for four mana.  Really this little fella forces the opponent to have answers while also giving you blockers in a pinch.

Thoughtseize - I really wasn't sold on this card until I was able to use it and... yeah... it's that good.  Being able to just see their hand is one thing, but picking the best card and ditching it is an added plus.  If not in the mainboard, you need at least 2x in the SB (where I would also add 3x Duress).

Now, these suggestions, shy of Abhorrent Overlord, will bring you a lot closer to the same deck that EVERYONE is playing these days.  That's no fun, right?  So you can spruce it up a bit in a TON of ways.  For instance, perhaps your weakest matchups are against RDW and Esper Rich-kid... err... Superfriends.  So what can you do?  Well, cards like Profit // Loss in the SB will totally HOSE RDW as a LOT of their aggro guys only have one toughness.  They play any combination of Legion Loyalist, Foundry Street Denizen, Firedrinker Satyr, Firefist Striker, Goblin Shortcutter, or Arena Athlete?  You're almost guaranteed to at least two-for-one them if not more.  Esper giving you fits?  It'd be easy enough to run 4x Blood Crypt in the normal manabase to add in things like Dreadbore, Anger of the Gods (although you would want more than four red sources), or even one of the most overlooked but powerful cards in the current format, Slaughter Games.  Think about it, you can easily run one Slaughter Games in the MB and take a guess based on what colors they're playing... then you get to look at their hand AND THEIR ENTIRE DECK - likely hitting several cards.  If you ever needed some info for how to sideboard, there it is.  Nevermind the potential benefit of exiling their most powerful stuff.  If you prefer a different swing, run Godless Shrines and Temple of Silence to get access to Obzedat, Blood Baron, or even off the wall stuff like Merciless Eviction.  Or, run Watery Grave and Temple of Deceit to splash Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver and Cyclonic Rift.

The point I'm making is, take the main pieces of the current shell as there really is no reason to try to reinvent the wheel, especially if you're trying to make the same thing.  Then, make some slight deviations here and there that can let you totally dominate the mirror-match (as you WILL hit it running mono-black) and to help in your weak matchups.

I hope some of this helps.  You really do already have the majority of the money cards in the list, so it's not like you're that far off from a finished product that will be really nasty to deal with at FNM.  Good luck!

Re: Mono Black Devotion FNM Deck

Thank you guys very much for these suggestions!!! It will take me some time to go through all this since I'm busy at work right now, but I'll modify it accordingly and post it up again!

Re: Mono Black Devotion FNM Deck

TyWooOneTime wrote:


Thanks for such a thorough post, I just started playing Magic and am building a black deck. Everything I see is 4x Desecration Demons, 4x Thoughtseize and 4x Mutavaults etc.. with no real explanation of why these cards are good or how they work together.

I'm going to reread this about 50 times.

Re: Mono Black Devotion FNM Deck

Alright, I modified it a bit based on your suggestions I still however need to work on my sideboard, but I can do that later.

The only problem I am having is after I finished up making the adjustments and stuff, one of my friends told me to google MTG metagame, so I did and the deck is almost identical to the current meta do you guys have any ideas on what I could do differently?